After walking some 20 kilometres during the 3 days of the London Book Fair, I am now back in Scotland indulging in a (well-deserved) lazy day. (Actually I’m not in a position to do anything else – I can barely move.)
So, while I recover both physical and mental capacities, enjoy a slideshow of what went down in Olympia last week. It wasn’t all selling and purchasing of book rights!
There were, of course, books in their thousands – fortunately, not many for sale. The Baltic Countries had certanly pulled out the stops for the fair. Estonia had set a target of having 100 books available for the English market. There are currently 125, and the year is not over yet. Latvia has made 50 new translations available. I’m afraid I didn’t find any statistics for Lithuania. But all these books were available to browse on the stands and to add to the virtual TBR. Top of my wishlist from each market focus country: Historical fiction with a touch of fantasy, The Man Who Spoke Snakish – Andrus Kivirähk (Estonia), Children’s Fiction – Dog Town – Luiza Pastore (Latvia) and a comic novel about the culture clash between Christianity and Confusianism,Fishes and Dragons by Undine Radzeviciute (Lithuania). The latter I may have to read in German because although translated into English, no UK publisher has picked it up yet. (Note to them – get a move on!) Also the cover of the German edition is so glorious, I have to have it on my shelves.
Now, while there was nothing but cooperation and comraderie to be seen between the three Baltic nations, it has to be admitted that the Latvian stall was the best of show. Latvians claim to be a nation of introverts and, in line with that, created the most introverted stand.
You could take a personality test to determine the Latvian landscape best suited to your own introversion (apparently I’m happiest staring out over the Baltic Sea), giggle at the comic capers of I, an introverted Latvian writer, and assess the risk of slipping into extroverted ways while enjoying the beer during Happy Hour. Great fun. Latvia, beware. I see myself visiting soon. You might just be my kind of place.